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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ Former President Jimmy Carter will lead an international delegation to observe Jamaica's tightly contested upcoming general elections, the Carter Center said Tuesday.

Carter arrives Oct. 14, two days before Jamaicans cast ballots in islandwide races muddied by a surge of violence between supporters of the governing People's National Party and the opposition Jamaica Labor Party.

The 55-member delegation will include observers from 16 countries, including former Costa Rica President Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

Carter, who observed Jamaica's 1997 elections, will join other observers monitoring polling stations and ballot counting on election day.

``Jamaicans have voiced a clear commitment to an open electoral process, and we are optimistic this will be another proud moment in Jamaica's history,'' Carter said.

Recent polls give a slight edge to the People's National Party to defeat the Labor Party and win an unprecedented fourth term.